Trade-deadline wrangling forces Penguins’ Teddy Blueger to the minors
Promising rookie Teddy Blueger was sent down to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on Monday, but his reassignment had more to do with roster wrangling than any dissatisfaction with his play.
Because the Penguins are hopeful that defensemen Kris Letang and Brian Dumoulin won’t be out long, they haven’t yet been placed on the injured list. To fill out their defense corps, the Penguins traded for Erik Gudbranson from Vancouver and called up Zach Trotman from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
That gave the Penguins nine defensemen on the active roster. To get down to the NHL limit of 23 at the 3 p.m. deadline, the Penguins had to whittle their forward group down to 12. Because he doesn’t have to clear waivers, Blueger drew the short straw.
Blueger also had to be sent down, at least on paper, by the deadline to be eligible to compete in the AHL’s Calder Cup playoffs this season. General manager Jim Rutherford said Juuso Riikola was involved in such a paper transaction to make him AHL eligible Monday.
Blueger has three goals and an assist in nine NHL games this season.
“Teddy played really well for us,” coach Mike Sullivan said. “We’re thrilled with the contribution that he made. I think part of it is just the logistics of the trade deadline and just the business aspect of it. That’s part of it. But certainly Teddy’s in the conversation with every lineup decision that we make and he’s one phone call from being right back here. That’s the discussion that I had with him. He’s certainly played extremely well for us.”
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .